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TSA Week in Review: May 27 - June 2

Wednesday, June 05, 2019
Firearms discovered at the checkpoint

Everybody, let’s rock! Not to get you all shook up, but the Tupelo Elvis Festival is this week – and it’s the 20th anniversary! If you’re planning on getting out the hair gel and taking that flight to Mississippi, we have some travel tips to make sure you don’t spend One Night in the Heartbreak Hotel. Too Much? Alright, a little less conversation and a little more blog action.

TSA Pre✓® members and passengers younger than 13 and older than 75 can leave their shoes on during security screening, especially if they are blue suede. And if you’re a traveling Guitar Man check out these tips for traveling with your musical instruments.

Between May 27 and June 2, TSA screened 16.9 million passengers and found 95 firearms in carry-on bags. Of the 95 firearms discovered, 83 were loaded and 30 had a round chambered.

During the month of May, we discovered 11 more firearms than we did last May.

Not to be cruel, but bringing a firearm to the security checkpoint may lead to a civil penalty of up to $13,333 or an arrest. And if you’re a TSA Pre✓® member, you could lose your status. If you are like Elvis and must travel with your firearm, check out our transporting firearms and ammunition page to learn how to pack it properly. After all, wise men say only fools rush into security with a prohibited item.

See all firearm discoveries from May 27 to June 2 in this chart.

explosive items found at airports

Packing real or realistic replicas of explosive items can lead to hefty civil penalties or even arrest. Any time our officers discover explosive components they call a specialist. This takes time and can cause people to miss flights. Even with that cool coiffure, your fellow passengers are going to think you are a real hound dog for making them miss their flight.

Pictured above, from the left:

  • TSA officers at Baltimore Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport discovered a grenade with no explosive materials on May 29.
  • A live smoke grenade was found in a checked bag at San Diego International Airport on May 31.
  • A grenade with the explosive material removed was located at Fayetteville Regional Airport on May 28.

 replica firearms found at airports

Realistic or replica firearms are not allowed in carry-on bags. You can pack the impersonators in your checked bags, but I recommend you check local laws before heading to the airport.

Pictured above, from the left:

  • A flash drive shaped as a firearm was discovered by TSA officers at Boston Logan International Airport on May 28.
  • A lighter made to look like a firearm was located at O’Hare International Airport on June 1.

Our mission at TSA is to do everything in our power to make sure you get to your destination safely by keeping dangerous items off planes. The most common explanation we hear from travelers for prohibited items is “I forgot it was in my bag.” Don’t be that person. Save yourself some money and embarrassment and thoroughly check your bags for prohibited items before heading to the airport.

So come prepared! For a list of prohibited items, be sure to use the What Can I Bring? tool. If you have questions about the security process, reach out to AskTSA on Twitter or Facebook Messenger. Our AskTSA team will happily answer even the most outlandish travel-related questions.

Want to know how many firearms we found last year? Check out our 2018 blog post.

Also, don’t forget to check out our top 10 most unusual finds video for 2018.

Want to learn more or see the other wacky finds? Follow us @TSA on Twitter and Instagram and like us on Facebook.

Jay Wagner


Submitted by Anonymous on

"Between May 27 and June 2, TSA screened 16.9 million passengers and found 95 firearms in carry-on bags. Of the 95 firearms discovered, 83 were loaded and 30 had a round chambered."

Not to put to fine of a point on it but the firearms per passengers is still running around .00056213017%.

Don't get me wrong, I think anyone who tries to take a weapon on an aircraft should get punished. A stay in jail would be more impactful than a fine. It's pretty obvious that fines aren't getting the attention that's needed.

If you are a gun owner and don't know where the heck you have your weapon then we have bigger problems to deal with.

"During the month of May, we discovered 11 more firearms than we did last May."

How many people flew last May compared to this May? Is the increase in guns found an indication of more air travelers?

Submitted by Jhon on

The fines need to be raised, big time.
The "I forgot it was there" response is not acceptable. Are these people so irresponsable in their daily lives?
You dont put personalized grips in a gun and then forget about it.

Submitted by Anon on

Good question, I don't have any suggestions for the first statement for the change in punishment for individuals who bring/attempt to bring firearms onto an aircraft but I do have some data on the previous year's passenger load for May - this is from the Bureau of Transportation Statistics (a part of the US Department of transportation) is shows about 73.9 Million passengers for the month of May 2018. For this year, however, I do not know yet. It does takes time for that data to be compiled. I know it takes about 3 months for the Bureau of Transportation Statistics(BTS) to publish that data, TSA might be able to find the number faster then the BTS can, but I'm unsure.

Submitted by CB on

I believe the airports need to be a bit more proactive when it comes to informing travelers. Big signs should be posted at the entrance of every terminal informing travelers of the firearm policy and fines. This would be a great opportunity for TSA to come together as a community and have a sign contest. I personally have some amazing ideas for it.